What did you have to drink today?
If you don’t know, you’re either dehydrated or you’re not tracking your calories like you should be. (Now, is always a good time to start.)
Or maybe you just don’t want to admit that you’ve got a thing for a certain sugar-sweetened, caffeine-charged soda or energy drink.
If you’re in the sugary-drink camp, there’s a good chance you’re not getting the results you want from working out, or at least progress seems slow. Am I right?
But if you’re committed to getting shredded, building muscle, or completing your own transformation, getting your diet right is one of the most important things you can do.
It’s one reason, you should give up sugary drinks, especially if you’re gulping down a soda or more a day (sugar-free/diet drinks get a pass). But it’s not the only reason.
Need a little convincing? I’m pretty sure you’ll at least rethink your drink after reading this.
The Case of the Crazy-Soda Addiction
New Zealand resident Natasha Harris had a thing for Coca-Cola.
At first, it was a soda-a-day habit. But before long, one just wasn’t enough. She felt like she needed more to get an energy boost from the caffeine and keep up with her kids.
Her response: She leveled up to drinking about 2 gallons of soda a day. And it took a toll on her health.
It damaged her liver. It corroded her teeth. Her potassium levels dropped dramatically. And eventually, it triggered a heart attack that took her life, according to police reports.
How Many Calories Are In That Soda?
If you’ve got a thing for soda, you’re probably not drinking the estimated 3,000 calories a day of soda like Harris did.
But even one standard 32-ounce quicke-mart soda or fast-food cup-full of the sugary beverage of your choice contains about 400 calories.
It’s a recipe for failure if you’re trying to shred fat, build muscle, or go from fat to fit and transform your body.
Counting Calories in Sugary Drinks: Do the Math
One pound of fat contains 3,500 calories.
If you have one 32-ounce sugary drink per day, that’s about 146,000 empty calories a year.
3,500 calories in a pound of fat / 146,000 calories per year = 41.7 pounds of fat.
It’s kind of crazy when you think of the long-term impact of drinking one sugary-soda per day.
Is it worth it?
There’s nothing wrong with including a sugar-sweetened beverage in your diet from time to time. But when it’s an everyday thing, you’re setting yourself up for failure or worse.
In fact, sugar-sweetened drinks have been linked to a long list of other health problems like:
1. Diabetes. In a Harvard University study, researchers found that people who drink 1 to 2 cans of a sugary soda (12 ounces per can), are 26 percent more likely to develop diabetes.
2. Heart attack. Drinking just one sugary drink per day may raise your risk for a heart attack by up to 20 percent, according to a study that followed 40,000 men for 20 years.
3. Gout. It’s a type of inflammatory condition that can cause joint pain and stiffness. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that one soda a day makes your risk for gout 75 percent greater than those who don’t drink soda.
4. Obesity. It’s kind of a no-brainer. If you’re drinking a ton of empty calories per day and live a sedentary lifestyle, you’re bound to gain weight. But it’s avoidable.
5. Poor bone health. Drinking a lot of soda (including diet soda), prevents your body from absorbing calcium needed to build strong bones. You’re also less likely to consume calcium-rich foods, if soda is a regular part of your diet.
6. Addiction. Some researchers have compared a daily dose of sugar from soda as addictive as cocaine. Try and quit a serious soda habit cold-turkey, and you may experience headaches, shaking, anxiety, and other symptoms recognized as withdrawals.
7. Cancer. Numerous studies show drinking 1 or two sodas or more per day may increase the risk for certain types of cancer, including: pancreatic, endometrial, and colorectal cancers.
8. Brain problems. In a lab-controlled study, researchers found that sugar-sweetened drinks may increase the risk for dementia, and interfere with memory and decision-making.
Rethink Your Drink
Take a closer look at what a sugary-drink habit can do to your health, and it’s a lot worse that just getting in the way of looking good.
So what should you be drinking? Aim for 3 to 4 liters of water per day.
If you feel like you have to have a caffeinated drink, fine. But go with a sugar-free option like a low-calorie energy drink, tea, or coffee. Just keep in mind, caffeinated drinks act as a diuretic, and don’t count towards the 3 to 4 liters of water-per-day goal.
Now go drink a glass of water.
Need help tuning in your diet or curbing a soda craving? Let me know.
- Cantor, M. (2013). Woman dies after downing 2 gallons of Coca-Cola daily. From: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/02/12/coca-cola-soda-death/1912491
- Qi, L. (2017). Soft drinks and disease. Harvard School of Public Health. From: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/soft-drinks-and-disease/
- Malik, V.S., et al. (2010). Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20693348
- de Koning, L., et al. (2012). Sweetened beverage consumption, incident coronary heart disease, and biomarkers of risk in men. Circulation. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22412070
- Choi, H.K., et al. (2010). Fructose-rich beverages and risk of gout in women. British Medical Journal. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21068145
- Hu, F.B., (2013). Resolved: there is sufficient scientific evidence that decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption will reduce the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related diseases. Obesity Reviews. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23763695
- Vartanian, L,R., et al. (2007). Effects of soft drink consumption on nutrition and health: a systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Public Health. From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17329656
- Blumenthal, D.M., et al. (2010). Neurobiology of food addiction. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. From: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20495452
- Hsu, T., et al. (2014). Effects of sucrose and high fructose corn syrup consumption on spatial memory function and hippocampal neuroinflammation in adolescent rats. Hippocampus. From: onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/hipo.22368/abstract